The Commons

Through a long series of meetings and public planning sessions, resulting in the review of over 5000 survey responses, the City and the building owners decided to demolish the original building and rebuild on the same site. Input revealed the following priorities for the new design.

      • Creating a new and improved performance space
      • Expanding and improving the indoor playground
      • Adding more informal and formal public meeting spaces
      • Including more food and restaurant opportunities
      • Maintaining the sculpture, “Chaos 1,” by Jean Tinguely, which was a highlight of the development’s original interior

The new Commons provides public meeting and performance areas, a playground, restaurants, and a commons area in the center.

Early in the design process, prior to demolition, it was determined that the new facility would pay tribute to the original by keeping the steel superstructure of the original building as well as leaving the beloved sculpture, Chaos 1, exactly where it has always stood. Consequently, demolition was very selective.

The newly created main entrance to the building features zigzag windows that are acoustical as well as architectural, framing views down the main street. Escalators and stairs wrap around the Chaos 1 sculpture, in its original location, to create a commons space and draw people to the second floor activities.

A new second floor under the original building’s structure provides space for the multi-purpose performance and activity space. The upper level space is designed for flexibility to accommodate public community events, performances, and private events.

A corner glass pavilion is skewed and sloped, providing views of the corner courthouse tower while creating an intriguing space to house a new indoor playground featuring a custom designed interactive sculpture that serves as a “climber” for children.

Natural daylighting, energy efficient lighting and mechanical system, and a vegetated green roof on the new structure assist with making this a sustainable project.

CSO collaborated with Koetter Kim to complete this project.

Columbus North High School

The goals for Columbus North High School included: flexible and adaptable learning spaces; an easily accessible, technology-rich environment; teacher and student work areas that inspire creativity, collaboration, problem solving, and innovation; the development of Centers of Excellence; and a safe and comfortable learning environment.

The project consists of 125,000 square feet of new additions and extensive renovations. By relocating the building entry to the opposite side and strategically placing building additions, the existing high school was transformed to fully address current needs and anticipate future needs. In order to bring the school up to current standards, five separate additions provide new space for music/performing arts, administrative areas, a new kitchen, additional classrooms, student resource and teacher resource areas, and for C4, a career and technical training center that serves multiple counties.

Interior renovations include the reconfiguration of existing areas to better accommodate the existing use of the space or to accommodate a new use for the space. Renovations of the first floor include the relocation of the existing cafeteria and kitchen areas, the relocation of the media center, new and/or renovated restrooms, and two new science labs.

Cummins Office Building

The building design focuses on sustainable features, including a highly detailed southern exposure curtain wall.  The articulated glass curtain wall features floor to ceiling windows which provides day-lighting and exterior views throughout.

Primarily planned for an open office workplace with internal offices, the upper floors have a central building core.  Glass enclosed conference rooms are located on the southeast and southwest corners with great views of the downtown square.  A flexible employee dining and conference center are located on the first floor southeast corner, with direct access to the adjacent Commons food court.

The primary emphasis for the open office workplace is natural light and expansive views out.  The southern façade daylighting is controlled with louvered sunscreen shading, shades, and photocell controlled perimeter lighting.  The western windows are shaded with vertical sun fins and occasional translucent glass.  The clear glass is insulated with low-e coating.  Energy-efficient lighting and mechanical systems were critical for lower operating costs.

Three years after the initial building was completed, a five-story addition was built adjacent to the existing building. The exterior façades were designed with varying heights in order to allow for a four-story atrium that joins the two buildings and a three-story front on the north side of the building to match the adjacent Commons building. The fourth floor of the addition features a corner terrace and a vegetated green roof. CSO collaborated with Koetter Kim Architects and Associates to design the original building and the addition.

Central Middle School

The replacement project for Central Middle School started with a series of workshops involving students, administrators, teachers, staff, parents, and Columbus community members. The goals for Central Middle School were to prepare for change in the future, promote collaboration through student-centered teams, integrate technology, incorporate flexible spaces, encourage community use and partnerships, and create a secure yet accessible environment.

CSO worked in collaboration with Perkins + Will to plan a flexible facility that would accommodate future growth and curriculum changes. The school is zoned into two components: an academic zone and a public zone. In the academic zone, spaces are grouped together to support the middle school team model and create a smaller scale environment for students, while remaining flexible for future teaching needs. Twenty four classrooms are grouped into teams consisting of three classrooms, a laboratory, and a shared space. Public spaces are separated from academic spaces by the building’s main entry. A multi-story commons acts as a cafeteria and multi-functional hub for students.

The use of historic signage and façade elements allow this new school to blend in with historic downtown Columbus. Significant green spaces create an educational park for the town while maintaining a neighborhood identity.